Decision brings relief


At last, officials, business owners and residents can breathe a little easier knowing Lowe’s Motor Speedway will remain a part of the community and our economy

Officials, business owners and many area residents breathed a big sigh of relief after Bruton Smith, CEO of Speedway Motorsports and owner of Lowe’s Motor Speedway announced Monday his intention to stay in Concord.

Smith’s announcement, made with Concord, Cabarrus County and local tourism officials at his side, ended about two months of speculation about the track’s future in Cabarrus County following a Concord City Council vote that stopped Smith from building a drag strip on the site based, at least in part, on complaints by nearby homeowners that the drag strip would be noisy. That vote was later reversed, but by that time, Smith said he was considering moving the track to another location all together.

In the weeks that followed, local and state officials worked to keep the track in place, including offering the billionaire businessman an $80 million incentives package to help cover some of the costs associated with planned improvements to the speedway and surrounding infrastructure.

With the decision now made to keep racing in Concord, it’s time to look ahead to a seemingly bright future and not to dwell on the past. 

The investment, it would seem, is well worth the cost, given all that racing has meant and will continue to mean to tourism, business and culture in the area.

Throughout the debate, Smith has discussed improvements to the track and surrounding area, projects he hopes will help the speedway become one of the premiere racing facilities in the world.

In all likelihood, many of those improvements — especially proposed road improvements around the site — will serve not only the interests of the
speedway, but of the greater community as well.

The last few weeks, as discussions have taken place to keep Smith and the speedway, have been bumpy, to say the least. Now, however, is a time to look forward and celebrate the future of Lowe’s Motor Speedway and all it means to the community.

Jonathan E. Coleman

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